Suggestion by Drbogdan (2020-01-14)

The Signpost should write about... FWIW - a draft "ScienceNews template" (see copy below) has been created - a recent suggestion (see comments at "Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science#Is "ScienceNews template" useful - or not?") has been made that the template contents (at least in some form) may be a worthwhile ("one-time appearance") contribution to The Signpost - Comments Welcome - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 06:52, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Original template version

This template contains clickable links

NOTE: a newer version (hopefully improved to the better Wikipedia standards) of the template has now been created - and, if interested, may be viewed below and/or here => User:Drbogdan/ScienceFacts - Thanks again for all the earlier comments - newer Comments Welcome - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 16:21, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

This template contains clickable links

"How Do We Know What Is TRUE?" (animated video; 2:52)

References (CLICK "[show]" on the right)
(NOTE: If ads or paywall, *Click Archived version* or *CopyPaste link to new Browser tab*)
  1. ^ Staff (2020). "How many stars are there in the Universe?". European Space Agency. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  2. ^ Mackie, Glen (February 1, 2002). "To see the Universe in a Grain of Taranaki Sand". Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  3. ^ Mack, Eric (19 March 2015). "There may be more Earth-like planets than grains of sand on all our beaches - New research contends that the Milky Way alone is flush with billions of potentially habitable planets -- and that's just one sliver of the universe". CNET. Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  4. ^ T. Bovaird, T.; Lineweaver, C.H.; Jacobsen, S.K. (13 March 2015). "Using the inclinations of Kepler systems to prioritize new Titius–Bode-based exoplanet predictions". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 448 (4): 3608–3627. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv221. Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  5. ^ Totani, Tomonori (February 3, 2020). "Emergence of life in an inflationary universe". Scientific Reports. 10 (1671). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58060-0. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  6. ^ Staff (2020). "The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia - Catalog". The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  7. ^ Staff (2020). "Martians on Mars found by the Curiosity rover". Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Cofield, Calla (August 24, 2016). "How We Could Visit the Possibly Earth-Like Planet Proxima b". Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  9. ^ Bogdan, Dr. Dennis (2020). "Calculation - Time to nearest star". LiveJournal. Archived from the original on August 21, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  10. ^ Fraknoi, Andrew (2007). "How Fast Are You Moving When You Are Sitting Still?" (PDF). NASA. Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  11. ^ Kolata, Gina (June 14, 2012). "In Good Health? Thank Your 100 Trillion Bacteria". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  12. ^ Novacek, Michael J. (November 8, 2014). "Prehistory's Brilliant Future". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  13. ^ Overbye, Dennis (December 1, 2023). "Exactly How Much Life Is on Earth? - According to a new study, living cells outnumber stars in the universe, highlighting the deep, underrated link between geophysics and biology". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  14. ^ Crockford, Peter W.; et al. (November 6, 2023). "The geologic history of primary productivity". Current Biology. 33 (21): P7741-4750.E5. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  15. ^ Bogdan, Dr. Dennis (February 16, 2020). "The one particular chemical is Nucleic Acid - a basic chemical for all known life forms - in the form of DNA - and/or - RNA - that defines - by way of a particular genetic code sequence - all the astronomically diverse known life forms on Earth - all such known life forms are essentially a variation of this particular Nucleic Acid chemical that, at a very basic level, has been uniquely coded for a specific known life form". Dr. Dennis Bogdan.
  16. ^ Berg, J.M.; Tymoczko, J.L.; Stryer, L. (2002). "Chapter 5. DNA, RNA, and the Flow of Genetic Information". Book: Biochemistry. 5th edition. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  17. ^ Baker, Harry (July 11, 2021). "How many atoms are in the observable universe?". Live Science. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  18. ^ Sundermier, Ali (September 23, 2016). "99.9999999% of Your Body Is Empty Space". ScienceAlert. Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.

@Drbogdan: I think you're missing a /span or something in there somewhere to terminate the template. GMGtalk 16:23, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo: - Thanks for the comment - not clear atm re the template code (still a newbie w/ this) - Thanks in any regards of course - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 16:35, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
@Drbogdan: Nevermind. Figured it out. You didn't close your blockquote. GMGtalk 16:39, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Citzendium to shut down?

There is an open proposal to close Citizendium to editing. Of the site's four active editors, two agree with the proposal. – Teratix 09:33, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

WMF video

@Smallbones: The WMF just released this video recapping the year of 2019 on Wikipedia, probably worth a mention somewhere. I do question the choice of upbeat classical music to score going over the Notre Dame fire... -Indy beetle (talk) 07:10, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia - Edit 2019, Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation

Extreme overcitation: Suggestion by Curb Safe Charmer (2020-02-05)

Possibly a record for overcitation? Draft:Computer_Forensic_Laboratory_(Hong_Kong_Customs_and_Excise_Department) Curb Safe Charmer (talk) 22:19, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Yes, 145 citations for a 278 word article is impressive. I'm not sure where this would go in The Signpost, though, or if calling attention to it is a good thing. @Smallbones:, your thoughts? ☆ Bri (talk) 18:23, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
It strikes me that there are many, many ways to do things wrong and we can't possibly cover all of them. But if anybody wanted t write this up, I'm not 100% against it. Remember though , no April Fools jokes. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:41, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by MeegsC (2020-02-09)

The Signpost should write about... WP:MEDICINE has received some nice coverage in the UK version of WIRED about our various coronavirus articles. This might make a good addition to the next newsletter's "In the Media" section MeegsC (talk) 09:20, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

It will be "in the mediea" Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:53, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Smithsonian putting 2.8 million images/files in CC0

Coverage, SI Open Access site. I'm not seeing any gotchas for use at, but this will be extremely useful. --Masem (t) 22:21, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

Alto sax owned and used by Charlie Parker at the Smithsonian Institution
Wow #2
Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:51, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

_Wikipedia?" data-mw-fallback-anchor="Wikimedia_-.3E_Wikipedia.3F" data-mw-thread-id="h-Wikimedia_->_Wikipedia?-2020-02-28T17:43:00.000Z">Wikimedia -> Wikipedia?

I'm surprised that I can't find any mention of that debate in the current version of the Signpost. The RfC was listed for a month at WP:CENT. Links (and my views, FWIW) are at User_talk:Whatamidoing_(WMF)#Holy ..., a conversation from a couple of weeks ago. I know that people who are smarter than me (everyone, basically, when it comes to understanding WP–WMF relations) believe that it's generally a good idea to let things go wrong first and then deal with it; the problem, in this case, is that unusually large sums of money (according to various comments) are going into a world-wide effort to convince a lot of people that they should stand up for their right to have whatever it is they're doing called "Wikipedia", whether it has anything to do with encyclopedias or not. Some people claim that we'll be fine, because the final decision will be up to the Board, and they'll make the right call ... but by the time they vote on it, so much money will have been spent in an effort to tip the scales that they may not, realistically, have a say in the matter. That's why the "let things go wrong first" strategy might be dangerous, for this issue, given the feelings expressed in the RfC (roughly 10-1 against, with a lot of anger and astonishment ... and there's no indication that the WMF is taking the RfC seriously). FWIW ... I don't actually have a position on the issue (except for my one-liner in the RfC), rebranding issues go way over my head ... my concern is the likely loss of editors, given what was said at the RfC. Also FWIW ... the Board issued a statement yesterday here. I'd characterize it as "unhelpful", but you be the judge. - Dank (push to talk) 17:43, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Okay, it's been added to the upcoming Discussion Report ... thanks. A little sparse, but enough to spark some talk page comments I think. - Dank (push to talk) 17:30, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Pinging User:Whatamidoing (WMF): since it's in the Signpost, there's probably going to be discussion. You know my thoughts, which don't (I think) line up with yours, but it would be helpful to get a WMF point of view into the discussion. I don't think it's realistic to shoot for the best possible outcome (I don't even know what that would be) ... but I also don't think it's unrealistic to try to avoid the worst outcomes. My next step is to wait and see how Signpost readers react. - Dank (push to talk) 23:26, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

WMF-funded events cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

"All offline (in-person) public events funded by Wikimedia Foundation grants must be cancelled or postponed until further notice" – m:Community Resources/COVID-19 Notice - Evad37 [talk] 03:49, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

In the news: Mapping Wikipedia

This article includes a county-level map showing the percentage of households in the United States who edit Wikipedia while not logged in, as well as other county-level data including political, religious, and income information and population density and broadband availability. It also has an interactive "by year" timeline of IP edits per county.

It also includes worldwide information about how many households edit from various countries without being logged in. It's no surprise that English-speaking countries dominate, but some countries with large populations such as China and Russia also show up in the middle tier. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:08, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

Noting that the data is over on Github so that we could make our own graphics/maps/etc. (Technically our data but grouped appropriately for easy graphs). No reason some of this cant' be put to our mainspace articles on WP, at least, for example, country distribution. --Masem (t) 22:12, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Completion % of NRHP sites photographed ((via Wikiproject:NRHP). "Same map" different colors. Different data

Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:37, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm unable to comprehend the Github data, but I went ahead and created a map for the U.S. state of North Carolina (where I live) based off of the US map Mandiberg created with his data:

Map of North Carolina showing Wikipedia IP editing activity 2018

I'm also noticing a some trend which Mandiberg does not explicitly observe. Namely, that there are several liberal/Democratic leaning places in the south where there is a a dearth of Wikipedia activity, not just conservative/Republican places (One of the hypotheses Mandiberg considers is that low-editing happens in conservative areas and may be due to conservative distaste for Wikipedia's historical left-lean and the existence of Conservapedia). These Democratic areas, such as north-eastern North Carolina are mostly rural and have significant black/African American populations. Historically, black Americans since the 1960s have voted mostly for liberal/Democratic candidates. The lack of editing in the "Black Belt" thus can be used to demonstrate the hypothesis that the political leaning has less to with editing activity than low population density (one of Mandiberg's observations is that low activity correlates with low density, but he seems mostly concerned with the overwhelmingly-white Western US). This North Carolina map is also of some more interest to me because while the cluster of the worst counties for editing in the northeast are very rural and have significant black populations, they have also been economically weak for years and are shrinking. For the sake of considering Wikipedia:Systemic bias, it may be important to consider that we might have problems on African-American figures or the places they live due to this low editing activity. -Indy beetle (talk) 23:57, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi @Indy beetle:, Michael Mandiberg here. This is precisely what I posited in the article: "The pattern of editing activity in Appalachia and the South appears to match population density, income, education, and broadband access. [...] the persistent and well-documented poverty of the rural South seems the more likely cause. This area of low editing, from East Texas to Virginia, includes the highest concentration of African Americans in the country, raising the likelihood that income, education, and internet access intersect with racial inequity as factors that prevent participation." I also noted that "The absence of participation from majority Native American counties, and rural, poor, black counties in the South, is troubling. [...] Wikipedia community’s forms of outreach are ill-equipped to reach these rural regions." I would also note that I specifically say that these patterns in the data do not match up so well with political beliefs/voting patterns, rather I note that outside of the South, religious adherence appears to match the pattern better. --Theredproject (talk) 00:27, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
My mistake, I must have missed your comments about the impact on African-American communities. -Indy beetle (talk) 02:12, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Copy of my complaint about Russian Wikipedia at Meta "Universal Code of Conduct" talk

Here is a copy of my complaint about Russian Wikipedia at Meta "Universal Code of Conduct" talk. You may find it useful for Signpost (or not). It describes global Wikimedia issues and has a link to Signpost. He original link is m:Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Discussions/Russian community. The text is as follows:

The problem with Russian Wikipedia is *not* with "codes of conduct". Such "codes" are not needed, because all the necessary rules are already exist. The problem with Russian Wikipedia is that there is a group of administrators that systematically insult and harass other users, sometimes treating regular editors like vandals or spammers (no one cares when they insult spammers, but insulting regular editors is a big problem). This is not a sole Russian Wikipedia problem, it's a global Wikimedia problem that is very hard to handle. I call it a "czar problem". We may take an example of English Wikinews where there are 2 or 3 "czars" who make normal participation in English Wikinews almost impossible for regular editors. And Wikimedia Foundation seemed to be unable to solve that before "Framgate". The "Framgate" looks like the WMF is finally able to solve such issues. The behaviour of aggressive admins have 2 effects: 1) notable hatred of general public towards Wikipedia 2) excessive deletionism that distracts newcomers. These 2 points are in full contradiction to Wikimedia movement values. Arbitration Committee of Russian Wikipedia is unable to solve the issues partially because some of the arbiters are part of the problem. "Blue wall of silence" problem also is present. Aggressive group members sometimes say that they don't care about Wikimedia Movement values, they only want strict rules. This is also a total contradiction to Five Pillars of Wikipedia. As Russian Arbitration Committee is unable to solve this, something like "office action" is needed. How will WMF solve the problem with Tatar Wikipedia where a bureaucrat has indefinitely blocked Farhad Fatkullin because of personal conflict? No hope for "Tatar Arbitration" there, only hope on WMF. Russian aggressive "admin group" consist only of several people, I think no more than ~15 people (there are non-admins also, I simplify the term). Those who suffer are thousands of editors and millions/billions of readers. Efforts to promote Wikimedia values to general public to make Wikipedia bigger and better are severely damaged by this situation. Many people flee from Russian Wikipedia and later criticize it in many public places. --Ssr (talk) 10:53, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

--ssr (talk) 11:58, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

@Ssr: Send me an email Special:Email and we can discuss this in detail. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
{{done}} Thank you! --ssr (talk) 06:49, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

STiki end of life

Wikipedia talk:STiki#STiki, sadly, has likely reached EoL. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 23:13, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, @Mark Schierbecker: I'm not that familiar with STiki, but it looks like something we could stik (oops!) a line in at News and notes, unless you have a better suggested place? Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Used to use it on and off. New browser-based vandal patrol tools look promising. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 07:34, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by USERNAME (2020-01-23)

The Signpost should write about... kosboot (talk) 19:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC) What was the 6,000,000th article? - kosboot (talk) 19:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Plankhouse0 (2020-01-23)

Six Million Articles! Wikipedia has officially reached the six-million mark. This is quite the milestone and should be discussed, as well as a reveal about what the six millionth article is!

Wikipedia has reached the six-million-article milestone, six million articles that anyone can edit. And the six-millionth article is...

Suggestion by Plankhouse0 (talk) 21:17, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

News & Notes

I don't know whether you are commenting upon it but I noticed we have had an unusually high number of successful RfAs in the past two months while at the same time as we have 3 arbitration cases going on regarding admin conduct. Make of that what you will, but the coincidence seems striking to me. I guess we are going through a process of the community realizing we need more active admins but wanting more influence over how they, at least longterm admins, conduct themselves. Liz Read! Talk! 23:55, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by User:Sm8900 (2020-03-05); Re community event notices compilation

The Signpost should write about...

I have created a section at the Wikipedia:Community bulletin board which compiles a whole variety of events, edit-a-thons, contests, etc etc, taking place around Wikipedia, mostly at WikiProjects, but also elsewhere as well.

I was wondering if we could provide the same information, here at the Signpost page? If so, let me know where, and I will copy and paste this compilation of items. I am proposing this at the suggestion of Andrybak. I appreciate any help, guidance, or input. Please ping me if you reply. thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 14:33, 5 March 2020 (UTC)


It may be also interesting for you that we at Russian community have revived the Vikivestnik (Викивестник), literally "Wiki Herald" — Wikipedia/Wikimedia news bulletin in Russian language. It existed since 2008 in Russian Wikipedia as ru:ВП:ВЕСТ and was abandoned in 2015 and we have recently revived it at Russian Wikinews as n:ru:Викивестник. We use some material from Signpost, translating summaries. In 2016, an user created a project called "Signpost-digest", ru:Проект:Сайнпост-дайджест, a short summary of Signpost, but it was also abandoned after about 10 issues. --ssr (talk) 06:58, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Another Believer (2020-04-01)

Just wanted to share some additional COVID-related coverage:

---Another Believer (Talk) 03:49, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Bri (2020-04-02) – Wikidata compatible with "pure and unadulterated evil"

The Signpost should write about how Wikidata has been proposed as a workaround for an article deemed "pure and unadulterated evil". See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of people with coronavirus disease 2019. ☆ Bri (talk) 20:29, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

In The News: Trump uses Wikipedia? I have noted the date but it appears genuine. It's a good joke, if not. Cavrdg (talk) 13:35, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

If we wrote a paragraph on every slip of the tongue by Trump we might fill up the Signpost each month, so I'm a bit skeptical. Also I can't see a link to Wikipedia except in somebody else's tweet. OTOH, he did miss it by a long way. In our List of largest cities, Tokyo has the largest numbers on the table (city proper, metropolitan area, urban area) of about 37 million in the urban area. Ouch. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:11, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Closure of libraries

With libraries being closed due to the quarantine, it's more difficult to supply references where needed. Good time for an article drawing our attention to under-utilized on-line resources? Vagabond nanoda (talk) 19:45, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

Within the library world, there has been much press about how some vendors have relaxed the constraints on some resources that are usually limited to use within libraries. One problem is that it differs from vendor to vendor and library to library, depending on what kind of contracts have been signed. I know that within a day of closure the New York Public Library publicized its enhanced access and I know individual academic libraries did so either soon after or eventually. But since each library's availability differs, I think it would be hard to give more than a generalization. Perhaps the most appropriate one to publicize and promote this would be The Wikipedia Library - although curiously I've not heard anything from them. - kosboot (talk) 20:56, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by slatersteven (2020-04-05)

The Signpost should write about...

A personal statement Corona Virus

In the first time in our (as in Wikipedia's) history we are actually living (and writing about) events that have a truly global scale that will have repercussions decades (if not 100's of years) from now. Every article we have related to this is far more important and significant than any article we have ever written before, both from a historical as well as contemporary viewpoint. What we say will have a very real impact on people living. We must all ensure that disinformation is not allowed to be expressed here, and we must expose it when it occurs. We must ensure that our readers are not only informed about the virus, but about those who would (and/or have) mislead them. Now we actually are important, in a way we have never been before. What we write here will be of historical importance, both as an example of how society dealt with this crisis, and a record of it.Slatersteven (talk) 13:55, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

Doc James (talk · contribs) (among others) have already been noted in the media for fighting the disinformation fight on WP with stricter rules (read: MEDRS) than normal. Wired, Slate, for example. --Masem (t) 14:03, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
And adding another article that is praised WP's coverage of COVID, also acknowledging @Doc James: and a few others as well as not only Wikiproject Med here but the Wikimedia Project Med to be ahead of the game. [1]. --Masem (t) 14:32, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Hurricanehink (2020-04-06)

The Signpost should write about the tropical cyclone WikiProject for its October 2020 edition. The project was formally started on October 5, 2005, in the midst of the active 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. The WikiProject standardized the many season, storm, and science articles about tropical cyclones, spawning 155 featured articles, 70 featured lists, 135 A-class articles, and 986 good article (as of today, it changes rapidly). There are 2,704 articles in the entire tropical cyclone project, meaning 49.77% of all articles in the project are a GA or better (just six good articles away from a 50/50 GA+/overall articles in the project ratio). By the 15th anniversary of the project in October, the project will likely be on month 8 (stuck inside), writing furiously to distract from the ongoing disaster around us. Indeed, even right now, members of the project were busy about Cyclone Harold, which yesterday and earlier today struck the South Pacific island of Vanuatu as one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded.

So the many tropical cyclone editors are busy these days. We have formed our own community here among editors, and engage regular with other tropical cyclone communities, such as on Facebook or Storm2k (a web-based tropical cyclone forum). I think our project could be an interesting one to interview for our 15 year anniversary in October. I hope anyone who comes across this message is safe and healthy ^_^ ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 16:35, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

@Puddleglum2.0: put this one on your schedule if you can. Otherwise let me know by September 1 and I'll find somebody else to handle it. Thanks Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:53, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
@Smallbones: 👍 should be able to do this..@Hurricanhink: Great plan, in the meantime, if you could round up some prospective editors to participate, that would be fantastic! If you can drop me a talk page message with a list of people to participate, I'll get that down. Take your time, still 8 months. =) Thanks, --Puddleglum2.0(How's my driving?) 23:04, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

@Hurricanehink: fix ping, sorry. --Puddleglum2.0(How's my driving?) 23:06, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

Thanks! Great, I put a notice out. I'm sure we'll have several users interested in participating. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 14:38, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
👍 Like Fantastic! --Puddleglum2.0(How's my driving?) 18:01, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

April Fools Day DYK

Would it be worth a mention that every single article of the 11 that featured in the DYK section on April Fools Day received enough views to make it onto WP:DYKSTATS? It is very rare (and I don't recall it ever happening before) that every article in a set gains 5,000+ views, let alone an 11 article set. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 18:54, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Any thoughts? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 06:14, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
@Smallbones: I think that this is for you. I'm not endorsing the proposal but it is something that is within your authority. ↠Pine () 06:31, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Tdslk (2020-04-19)

Hi! The Guild of Copy Editors would like to ask if you could share in the next Signpost, perhaps as a "brief note," the announcement that in May we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our copy-editing drives, one of our main tasks. During that decade we have reduced the backlog of articles tagged as needing copy editing from 8,323 to just 272, with the oldest tagged articles being from January. If you have questions, the best place to take them would be the talk page for the GOCE coordinators. Cheers, Tdslk (talk) 23:37, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

Tdslk, added as a brief mention to N&N. Perhaps Puddleglum2.0 would be interested in doing a WikiProject report for the next month? Eddie891 Talk Work 01:10, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
@Eddie891: I may have a CoI in that area as I am an active member, but I certainly could if Smallbones approves? Tdslk and lead Coord Jonesey95: What do you think? I could interview the coordinators and one or two other active members perhaps? Thanks, --Puddleglum2.0(How's my driving?) 01:47, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks to the both of you! The best place to ask about a report would be on the talk page for the GOCE coordinators I mentioned above. Puddleglum is indeed an active member of the Guild if that affects how the Signpost would do the report, although I'm sure Puddleglum would do a great job! Tdslk (talk) 02:23, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

@Puddleglum2.0: you can certainly write such a report or do an interview. Just mention that you are an active member of the Guild in a brief paragraph between the byline and the lede. (Or I could write it.). If you wanted to do this as a "Community view" piece, which parts of the community tend to write up themselves, it could be even less formal. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:49, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

@Smallbones: ok, thanks. I'm honestly not to familiar with how to put together a community view piece, but if you think it would be a better fit I'd be more than happy to learn the ropes! Cheers, --Puddleglum2.0(How's my driving?) 04:24, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
This is a great idea. Let me know how I can be helpful. (FWIW, I am the GOCE's lead coordinator for the first half of 2020.) – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:36, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Ok, there will be a paragraph or so in News&notes about the 10th anniversary (Somebody remind me if I forget. My schedule, like everybody else's is a bit disrupted these days). For the "Community view" get 2-4 editors from GOCE together to write a piece for the end of May issue. I'll write something like "The authors are all active members of GOCE" for right after the byline. Puddleglum2.0 can be an author just like all the rest and you then write whatever you have to say. Easy enough. And hopefully, less copyediting for us to do! Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:08, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Sounds good Smallbones! I'll get this set up and get editors for it over at the GOCE coord talk page. Cheers, --Puddleglum2.0(How's my driving?) 18:52, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

Project MUSE partially open

Like JSTOR, Project MUSE contains digitized versions of scholarly literature. From an email this morning: "More than 80 of MUSE's participating publishers have temporarily made all or some of their content freely available on the Project MUSE platform, in response to the crucial need for remote access to reliable, vetted teaching and research materials during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Over 25,000 books and 300 journals are now available to any user worldwide, with no restrictions on access or usage. MUSE has also made available tools to help libraries with discovery of the free resources." - kosboot (talk) 14:13, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

Kosboot, I've begun a bit of a section in N&N/ If you find anything else on the topic, please don't hesitate to mention it here Eddie891 Talk Work 14:39, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Eddie891, Project Muse now has a webpage detailing their temporary OA materials: - kosboot (talk) 15:02, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Eddie891 (2020-04-21)

The Croatian Wiki case seems to be nearing closure-- will definitely need coverage when it does. Eddie891 Talk Work 13:20, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

@Eddie891: if something comes up in 2-3 days could you just add a line or 2 at News & notes. More of course if y0u have the time and info. I'll also keep an eye on it, but it might be another 200-300 days! Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:44, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

HathiTrust opens up a bit, but ...

HathiTrust has created an Emergency Temporary Access Service which allows people to access some material when the paper copies are unavailable. On paper it sounds great, but the process sounds so bureaucratic that I suspect only the most desperate will avail themselves of the service. - kosboot (talk) 18:17, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

Kosboot, added here. Would you be so kind as to check my summarization and make sure it is correct? Eddie891 Talk Work 21:01, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
Eddie891 Very nice & official sounding -- Thank you and bravo! - kosboot (talk) 22:50, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by ssr (2020-04-22)

The Signpost should write about the Ukrainian government (Foreign ministry) planning to mass-edit wikipedias jointly with Wikimedia Ukraine. Ministry's English message: "MFA Launches Mega Campaign To Saturate Wikipedia With Unbiased Information On Ukraine and the World". Jimbo Wales' comment was requested at his talk page. --ssr (talk) 20:12, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

Ssr, I actually put a link to this in N&N before coming here to see this. I'll expand it to a full mention, and keep an eye on the discussion. If you'd like to write something on it, even if just a few paragraphs, please feel free to let me know Eddie891 Talk Work 20:13, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
OK, I see, thanks! --ssr (talk) 20:17, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
Ssr, You can see the write-up here. Any suggestions are welcomed Eddie891 Talk Work 21:00, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
@Eddie891: I have written at Jimbo's talk, and maybe it is also relevant here. In the beginning of 2017 there was an alike project from Russian authorities called "Virtual front", here is the big year-later report in Russian, autotranslator may help to understand, or please ask, but I a have no full information and will have to ask other people by myself. In short, they failed because they couldn't organize anybody for that. --ssr (talk) 06:16, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Wikimedia Ukraine representative gave good explanations at Jimbo's talk. --ssr (talk) 13:42, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

JSTOR open

Because of the Covid-19 issue, JSTOR has become open to all until June 30, 2020. No login needed: kosboot (talk) 20:20, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

Here's JSTOR's statement: - kosboot (talk) 21:46, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm reading that as "Open to already-participating institutions and potentially to libraries" not to the whole public. That is, if your university has a partial JSTOR license, you now have a full JSTOR license. --Masem (t) 22:19, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
Is this their full ebook collection or only partial? If so, it's a huge deal. czar 22:28, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
This is the best news I've heard all week. -Indy beetle (talk) 02:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
It's not everything but, according to them, it's a lot. Liz Read! Talk! 03:52, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Ok, clarification from a librarian who said that a lot of misinterpretation is going around: "JSTOR is currently NOT opening their database to the public beyond what they already made freely available pre-Covid. That open access content can be searched here: The exception to this are several journals in Public Health related directly to the virus, which they have made freely available." - kosboot (talk) 17:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

@Indy Beetle, Liz, and Kosboot: - if anybody could sort this out, it sounds like it's good for at least 2 paragraphs in News & Notes, perhaps much more. If you want to start it please let us know on the newsroom talk page. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:46, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

It looks like it's only certain publishers? @Samwalton9 (WMF), do you know if TWL's JSTOR coverage expands at all per these offers? czar 20:54, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Unclear, I'll ask! Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 16:06, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
@Czar: JSTOR confirmed with us that everything listed on this page was already in the Wikipedia Library collection, but ebooks aren't, so the short answer is no. Ebooks are something we've been asking for for some time, and they're going to take another look into it (the agreements on their end are slightly different so it's not a direct change they can make). Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 16:57, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Czar: Good news! JSTOR have added the special ebooks to our collection. The list of ebooks can be found here, and there's an ebook video guide here. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 08:39, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
@Samwalton9 (WMF), this ebook collection is amazing—a wide collection of major academic publishers. Might be worth sharing more widely (along with any other databases opening their collections) in a special Books & Bytes? czar 21:14, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Bri (2020-04-22)

The Signpost should write about the various ongoing Wikichallenges. I know of the The 50,000 Destubbing Challenge and the WikiProject United States 50,000 challenge that are currently active. A fuller list an be developed by reviewing {{The 100,000 Challenge}} and Category:Wikipedia article challengesBri (talk) 18:27, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

Public Books Database

For NN, compiles a list of publishers who have opened their collections in part or whole during the pandemic. czar 12:04, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by kosboot (2020-05-14)

The Signpost should write about... Now that most Wikimedia activities are being held online, geographical distance is no longer a hurdle to attending open chapter meetings/user groups all over the world. Might someone want to compile a running list/calendar of such activities? kosboot (talk) 13:10, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

kosboot Perhaps it belongs in Wikipedia:Meetup/Calendar which currently lacks online events. I suspect it's rather skimpy even on last year's in person meetings. I guess making it effective would require first getting some of the major chapters to list their events there. Jim.henderson (talk) 01:55, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

Sorry not to get back to you sooner Smallbones. I think it used to be that, at least in the U.S., there was a communal calendar or list indicating all the monthly meetups. The pandemic seems to have done away with that and now everyone is acting as if feudalism is back in style. Then perhaps the solution is to use the Signpost as a call for online meetings that anyone can attend. Then the Signpost could collect and publish them. (I know Wikimedia NYC's next meeting is June 17 (although the page has not been created yet). -kosboot (talk) 01:23, 22 May 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps a blurb in the next addition advertising our desire to have people share event dates with us would be helpful. -Indy beetle (talk) 01:45, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Fox News article

Larry Sanger's upset again [2]. I'd normally put this in ITM without any question, but it is Fox News, and considering it reviews a lengthy blog post by Sanger perhaps we can do something more with it. -Indy beetle (talk) 02:30, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Charlesjsharp (2020-05-04)

I have just produced a new free magazine that gives tips for photographers in lockdown. It encourages photographers to contribute to Wikipedia and to Commons. Each issue will have a guest spread on another Wikipedian's work. The link is on my user page User:Charlesjsharp. Charlesjsharp (talk) 13:57, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Wow, that's really cool. Kaldari (talk) 00:55, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by koavf (2020-05-24)

Mention of Andorra: (koavf)TCM 18:37, 24 May 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Another Believer (2020-05-27)

You might want to mention this Slate article:

Thanks! ---Another Believer (Talk) 18:30, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Suggested ITM subtitle: Canuck Crackdown

Apparently the Canadian government doesn't like it when their employees edit Wikipedia. It would be great if someone could find the original research report. -Indy beetle (talk) 18:45, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Thanoscar21 (2020-06-05)

The Signpost should feature WP:TRUMPPOV. It's a really good and expansively written essay. Thanks, Thanoscar21talk, contribs 00:04, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

To be fair, the essay is the very picture of Trump Derangement Syndrome found here on Wikipedia. Mother Jones is an ok source but Fox News isn't? How does Foreign Policy lean right when made up of never-Trumpers and lefties? This, I think, is what Atsme was talking about in her recent op-ed. Writing an essay about concerted community opposition to Trump-sympathetic editors = noteworthy and good. Challenging the implicit left-wing bias of over-educated underemployed recent grads = impossible and unthinkable, probably a hate crime to even consider it a possibility. The WMF, if it weren't wasting its money on furniture, overseas travel, and questionable grants, ought to be spending money to really prevent further bias from all parties before this website becomes an even-worse dumpster fire. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:44, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Another Believer re: WikiProject Black Lives Matter (and Wiki Loves Pride)

In case The Signpost shares newly created WikiProjects, or plans to cover the George Floyd / Black Lives Movement demonstrations in some way, I've just created WikiProject Black Lives Matter for interested editors. Thanks, ---Another Believer (Talk) 21:32, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

PS - I should also note, Wiki Loves Pride is ongoing. Thanks! --Another Believer (Talk) 21:32, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

By the way, I've asked here if any members of WikiProject Black Lives Matter are interested in working on a special report for The Signpost, similar to one recently published re: COVID-19. ---Another Believer (Talk) 18:33, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

Internet Archive-legal issues with their digital library project

Although it's not strictly about Wikipedia, I thought people who read The Signpost are likely to be interested in coverage of the Internet Archive's recent legal case. Sources: NYTimes, here. Blythwood (talk) 05:10, 8 June 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll take a close look. The Internet Archive and maybe Creative Commons are about the only 2 organizations that I'd usually cover unless there was a very direct conection in the specific news about them . Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:00, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Coverage of us and our harassment policy, inclusion, etc. (koavf)TCM 22:29, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, it is a good article. There will be at least 2 paragraphs on it in "In the media" likely more when others write similar articles. Smallbones(smalltalk) 23:20, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Ryan Merkley on Lawfare Project podcast

The Lawfare Podcast: Ryan Merkley on Why Wikipedia Works; this is the sort of stuff I listen to while I scrub dishes. If there's interest, I can instead listen, take notes, and write something up. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:35, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Considering that Merkley has revealed practically zilch about his plans, hopes, or even idle thoughts about the Wikimedia projects, I think a write-up would be welcomed by many people. -- llywrch (talk) 21:12, 8 June 2020 (UTC)
@Chris troutman: I was thinking of this as a short paragraph for "In the media", but if you wanted to make that a long 2 paragraphs or its own article, that would be ok too. I listened to about half of the podcast, jumping around a bit. The 1st half sounds pretty much like most of the current WMF stuff - though maybe I listen to more of that than is healthy. What I heard from the 2nd half sounded more interesting, e.g. editing by (non-US?) governments and what we can and can't do to stop it. Go for it! BTW I think I had a short interview with Ryan in last August's issue. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:09, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
@Smallbones: your memory is getting almost as bad as mine: there was no interview with him, just a short profile & a link to his Wikimania talk. (I still have no idea what he intends to do as COO, & since C-level hires who don't share their dreams/plans at the beginning tend to have a short tenure at the Foundation, I'm mildly concerned he may be gone before we notice.) As for the podcast, it was clear from what he said that most of his information about Wikipedia is second-hand, which does not portend good things. -- llywrch (talk) 18:44, 10 June 2020 (UTC)
I've since listened to it; I'm rather displeased with the podcast hosts. I think Ryan came out well; he gives all credit to the editing community. I'm going to mull this over before I write a draft. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:50, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia editing problems

briefly, see phabricator task and public incident documentation. Too technologically advanced for me, but perhaps someone could summarize? Eddie891 Talk Work 19:21, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by USERNAME (2020-06-14)

The Signpost should write about in the media blurb: Bayard Rustin was a key figure in the civil rights and gay rights movements (koavf)TCM 18:48, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Thanks. Got it started at In the media. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:46, 19 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Madcoverboy (2020-06-17)

The Signpost should write about a new pre-print (not yet published but currently under peer review) by yours truly analyzing Wikipedia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Madcoverboy (talk) 14:03, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

Madcoverboy, Do you mind sharing this at Talk:Wikipedia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well? ---Another Believer (Talk) 14:18, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
@HaeB: - does this look good for Recent research? Otherwise, it's a paragraph in News & notes, or wait 'till next month. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:53, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
Yes, we (Miriam) already tweeted it, and it's definitely going to be on the list for RR. Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:16, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
When it's published you might be able to push a brief summary as to how we avoided misinformation over at Misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic#Wikipedia as well. --Masem (t) 01:36, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

WikiJournal of Medicine will be included in Scopus (2020-06-18)

WikiJournal of Medicine, a peer-reviewed open access journal hosted in Wikiversity will be accepted into Scopus. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:36, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

Additional details here. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 12:56, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
Smallbones for N&N? I can write a bit up if you want. Eddie891 Talk Work 01:15, 27 June 2020 (UTC)
Eddie891 Please do write it up. I'd think 1 or 2 paragraphs, but it's up to you. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:08, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by DePiep (2020-06-28)

Could The Signpost clarify what the "rebrand / rename" topic is about? I could use an introduction. DePiep (talk) 21:36, 28 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Eddie891 (2020-06-09)

Not sure what, but The Wikipedia Library just got a pretty substantial update. Could be worth covering Eddie891 Talk Work 11:46, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for posting Eddie891! We just deployed Authentication-based access which makes most of the library's content available through a single login instead of many individual accounts, and opens a bunch of content up to not requiring an application at all. Approximately 25,000 users can now access paywalled research immediately for free! Please let me know if you have any questions :) Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 12:27, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
@Eddie891: Could you write up a couple of long paragraphs for News and notes? Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:08, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
Smallbones, Yeah I'll see what I can do
Samwalton9: could I email you some questions if I have them? Eddie891 Talk Work 20:47, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
Yep, feel free :) Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
Oh yes please do cover this, as mentioned above it's now supereasy to gain access to loads of content, I was put off by the rigmarole before but now it's great, I have access to things like the Oxford Dictionary of Biography :) Mujinga (talk) 17:58, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Eddie891 (2020-06-30)

Citizendium over? Eddie891 Talk Work 00:59, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Olive Morris

The Signpost should write about... Olive Morris, who was recently featured on a google doodle, meaning that her wikipedia page got checked almost 300,000 times on 26 June! Mujinga (talk) 11:14, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Wikilambda project approved by Board of Trustees

Wikilambda, a proposed Wikimedia project, has been approved by the Board of Trustees. This topic was previously covered by the Signpost in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-04-26/In focus. The announcement was made in the mailing list and on Meta. --Yair rand (talk) 18:02, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Stefan Kühn (2020-07-03)

Screenshot "The Book" with an english page (300+ language available)

The Signpost should write about the new tool "The Book". I want to inform the English community about my new project "The Book". This project shows the Wikipedia like a old lexicon in a multi-column page. You can turn to the next or previous page. All article are in alphabetic order and "The Book" shows only the first text section and the first image. Also you can go to a specific title or random page. It is in 300+ languages available.

It is fun to explore our Wikipedia with this new way. You will find many interessting articles on your way in "The Book". --sk (talk) 15:14, 3 July 2020 (UTC)

WMF pushes switch to GitLab without RFC

The WMF announced that they'll be moving the code review and CI systems to GitLab, without first having a public discussion on it with the developer community. The (completely predictable) outcry is taking place on mw:Talk:Wikimedia Release Engineering Team/GitLab. --Yair rand (talk) 21:40, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Maximilianklein(CS) (2020-07-09)

The Signpost should write about... New Research on the Effects of Thanking Others on Wikipedia(s).

CAT Lab partnered with Arabic, German, Persian and Polish language Wikipedias to answer whether using the thanks button could increase participation, in two new studies.

In a field experiment that organized experienced Wikipedians to thank thousands of editors, we found that receiving a Thanks increased two week retention by 2 percentage points on average. Receiving thanks also causes recipients to send 43% more thanks on average (preprint [3]).

A partner study looked at the effects on senders of giving Thanks. While we did not find an effect, this could be because many volunteers already felt emotionally drained from their efforts on Wikipedia and weren't able to complete the study. Because of this, we made valuable discoveries about who spends time supporting others, how they think about the intentions of newcomers, and how they feel about their work (preprint [4]).

Maximilianklein(CS) (talk) 22:13, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, we'll make sure to cover both in "Recent research"! Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:03, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by SuperGoose007 (2020-07-10)

The Signpost should write about... the current discussion on WP:COIN about the paid editing company known as Wikiprofessionals, and how they might be related to other sockpuppeteers. SuperGoose007 (Honk!) 19:05, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

@Bri: and I are both aware of this. What we'll do is another question, especially in regards to objective reporting. Suggestions welcomed. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:49, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
I kind of suggested that the ball get rolling actually [5]. Which puts me in a strange place as a Signpost contributor. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:20, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

"List of sex symbols" deleted after 18 years

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of sex symbols (4th nomination) might be worth mentioning. This page had existed since 2004 (with a brief interruption, being recreated in 2006 shortly after a previous AfD deletion). Because of the page's large revision history, the deletion required steward rights. Around the time of the deletion nomination, the list had over 1000 entries and 1446 citations. (Not going to cover it myself, as I !voted in the discussion.) Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:22, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggesetion - Is Wikipedia a freebie political election campaign tool

I don't know if you could use this, but I've noticed a trend at AFD, on articles I didn't know existed, or that we even allow. Since the outcome at AFD is up to the community to decide - often more so than Wikipedia rules or guidelines - these things go both ways. Along the lines of WP:NOTNEWS, we seem to be reporting news events, anyway. Please see Category:Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign and Category:Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign. We keep updated/current events articles listing the endorsements both have received, and continue to receive. Shouldn't such lists be on an individual candidate's website, not Wikipedia? We have articles covering their individual rallies, fairly quickly following same. Some of them are up for AFD. I believe I saw (somewhere) one of each candidate that had been deleted through AFD, but it looks like which direction that swings, depends on who can amass the most "Keep" votes. Democracy is great ... but is Wikipedia being used a freebie campaign tool? — Maile (talk) 22:12, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

The problem lies with the inclusionists among us; they would keep any article so long as it doesn't benefit a business, even if it were free campaign material. I have been against chasing flash-in the pan news coverage but no one else agrees with me. I don't see how The Signpost could write honestly about this without condemning our readers who are certainly to blame. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:38, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
This is a symptom of our appetite for 24-hour cable news, which is always starved for something to report. Now we have stupid articles such as Heights of presidents and presidential candidates of the United States. I always lived by the philosophy that if an endorsement was important or impactful (such as Jim Clyburn's endorsement of Joe Biden), then it should be incorporated into the text of an article about the candidate, their campaign, or the election. But alas, these all technically pass GNG. I'm in agreement with Chrish, though; this isn't something for The Signpost to address directly. Might make do for an opinion piece. -Indy beetle (talk) 18:28, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Another Believer (2020-07-22)

"How volunteers created Wikipedia’s world-beating Covid-19 coverage"

---Another Believer (Talk) 22:35, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by OhanaUnited (2020-07-28)

A new research found 5 cases of peer-reviewed papers plagiarizing Wikipedia articles.[6] OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:50, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Possible tempest in a teapot over the Kamala Harris article

Today The Intercept on Talk:Kamala_Harris#It_got_noticed. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:59, 3 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Enwebb (2020-08-09)

A member of WikiProject Palaeontology discovered a hoax article Mustelodon. This is the longest-lived hoax to be documented on English Wikipedia, at nearly 15 years from creation to discovery. I wrote a small snippet for the Tree of Life Newsletter for this month, and you might find it interesting enough to include in the Signpost. For more info, see the talk page at WP:PALAEO here. Enwebb (talk) 13:53, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

@Enwebb: I'll send you an email. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:03, 17 August 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Another Believer (2020-08-07)

"Covid-19 is one of Wikipedia's biggest challenges ever. Here's how the site is handling it." The Washington Post:

---Another Believer (Talk) 19:23, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

@Another Believer: It'll be in "In the Media". Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:02, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
Great! Thanks, ---Another Believer (Talk) 04:29, 17 August 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Michael Bednarek (2020-09-08)

The Signpost should write about the death of Wikipedia editor Jerome Kohl; details at Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians/2020#Jerome Kohl and at User talk:Jerome Kohl#In memoriam. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:04, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

The Tropical cyclone wikiproject turns 15 on October 5

Just a heads up. We have a ton of users who would likely be interested in speaking about the project. It is a record-breaking hurricane season after all, and there are some changes going on. Hurricanehink mobile (talk) 18:31, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

It's almost certainly too late for this next issue for anything more than a paragraph in News & notes. Send a 2 sentence quote in any case (here) and we can cut it down. Question: why is this project something special on Wikipedia? @Puddleglum2.0: would you like to do a project report on this for the October 26 issue? Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:21, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
The Tropical cyclone WikiProject, founded on October 5, 2005 in the midst of a historic hurricane season, turns 15 in early October in the midst of another historically active season. The project has produced more than 1,000 good articles and 234 featured articles/lists, meaning 48% of the project's articles are rated "good" or better.

That's a short little summary, hope that establishes why it's special. I could've gone into there being more than 100 TFA's, or that weather agencies use Wikipedia, such as their track maps, or sometimes even the information mentioned. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 23:06, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by A bit iffy (2020-08-25)

{{done}} The Signpost should write about this highly upvoted Reddit post assertion that the Scots language Wikipedia is largely the work of one person who doesn't know Scots and is just using a dictionary to "translate" from the English Wikipedia.

I just came here for the same reason. AmaryllisGardener has been accused of writing articles for sco-wiki without the requisite language skills. MJL protected the user talk page now, the discussion is taking place here and here. Some have said that this is the biggest cultural crime against the Scot language in history. Chris Troutman (talk) 19:58, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
Came here for the same thing. See m:Requests_for_comment/Disruptive_editing_on_sco.wikipedia_on_an_unparalleled_scale and Gizmodo. Should definitely be covered. Eddie891 Talk Work 23:30, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
Gizmodo has beaten you to the story. If you need a comment from me, Scots Wikipedia is proactively reaching out to native Scots speakers and institutions and is trying to identify and correct any incorrect translations. (edit conflict)MJLTalk 00:36, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
I hope this don't this doesn't come up on the New York Times or anything. Wikipedia's reputation will suffer. Jake The Great! | 📞 talk 07:27, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
It will. –MJLTalk 19:46, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
And The Guardian. There really needs to be some discussion about having a plan in place for shutting down and rebooting small-language Wikipedias that seem to be solely the work of one bad actor. (Does anyone remember when the Wikipedia article on bras got taken over by one male weirdo who wanted to discourage women from wearing them and filled it with bogus theories that wearing bras causes cancer?) Simply saying "We do not own or control the Scots-language Wikipedia" doesn't seem to be enough when there's evidence that large amounts of content is polluted and untrustworthy. I think the best response is to delete all articles only the bad contributor made substantial contributions to. Blythwood (talk) 01:14, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
To get an idea of what we're dealing with, take a look at this. It's painfully obvious that it's the work of a twelve year-old taking English text and swapping in Scots words and Scots-looking spellings, it's like blinkenlights. Clearly this wasn't the guy's intention, but (as I said on meta), it's like blackface and minstrel-show English. It's like someone created a fake AAVE Wikipedia that calls white people "Massa". It's also very like the Billy Connolly sketch claiming that Scottish folksongs always turn out to be written by weirdos obsessed with the Auld Country who've never been there.
But I've come to feel that he's not all of it, following issues raised by an IP editor here and here, who notes that one page was written by "a user born in California, who resides in California and has Filipino ancestry. The Lesotho article was created by [name redacted to avoid dogpiling] an American who states on his profile page he does not speak Scots at home, but has dictionaries". I started off thinking that this could be fixed by blanking all pages edited only or mostly by this user, but I now lean towards closing the entire Wikipedia and starting again. I blame Braveheart... Blythwood (talk) 05:39, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
I mean, this problem isn't even finished. Four hours ago this was added by a guy from Sri Lanka. I'm pretty sure it's just the English Wikipedia page run through this autotranslator. Blythwood (talk) 07:00, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

OPIndia and Hindu nationalist edit warring

{{done}} Worth a read at ANI [8]. Jimbo's been involved. -Indy beetle (talk) 06:48, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

A Polish editathon

{{done}} Dumping this here for now until the next ITM draft is created [9]. -Indy beetle (talk) 00:33, 31 August 2020 (UTC)

Tall poppy syndrome

{{done}} The Signpost should write about... recent developments on the Door County, Wisconsin article; a good example of tall poppy syndrome. It might also help illustrate the [10] US map of editor frequency; that Wikipedia has an inherent bias towards and against certain areas; one area in particular is reflected in the username of a significant editor.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 16:48, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

As of right now it seems like the dispute has been resolved.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 21:31, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Russian Wikinews troubles

{{done}} There are big troubles in Russian Wikinews as described in English here --ssr (talk) 19:43, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

Portuguese Wikipedia voting to ban IP mainspace editing

{{done}} pt:Wikipédia:Votações/Necessidade de registo para editar a Wikipédia lusófona

Currently leaning towards requiring registration to edit mainspace, but keeping access open to Talk and Help spaces. FYI czar 02:41, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

This looks like it shouldd go into News & notes. Is there a Portuguese speaker that can explain some of the subtleties to me? Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:03, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
As an update, looks like this went through! I don't have a recommendation for a Portuguese-speaking enwp user, nope czar 07:26, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

m:Small wiki audit/Malagasy Wiktionary

{{done}} If you though Scots Wikipedia had it bad... –MJLTalk 05:14, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes, we'll try to follow up the Scots incident. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:13, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by kosboot (2020-09-17)

{{done}} The Signpost should write about "the uptick in Wikimedia editing" because of the pandemic. This was brought to my attention by someone on the Wikidata Telegram channel: - I don't want to be the one to write about it, but if Signpost staff has access to someone who likes to analyze graphs and user stats, it could be a nice small article or notice. kosboot (talk) 13:48, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

I wrote a paragraph on this in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-05-31/News and notes when EN Wikipedia had a spike back to levels of editing last seen in 2010. English Wikipedia has since dropped back a little (other projects doubtless vary). I'm sure there are two big stories to research and write as to how editing has fluctuated with lockdown. One a human interest story, telling how some of the regulars have had to step aside, some have died of Covid and some new people joined us in lockdown, plus a lot of people got together to make our COVID coverage as good as it has been. However i would see that as either an end of year story or an end of COVID story - the time isn't right for it. We also need a detailed stats based story which needs to go into a lot more detail than May's story that when lots of people were cooped up at home editing increased..... I'll put something on the research list, ask if anyone is working on that topic. ϢereSpielChequers 19:30, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
I tend to agree with with @WereSpielChequers:, but a 2 line statement that stat x went from y to z is easy enough to do. Getting the meaning of that by waiting for 2 years for an academic research preprint to come out is also easy to do, but doesn't really inform people for the next 2 years. OTOH if somebody wanted to do a little basic research showing some basic descriptive stats and graphs, maybe some correlations of edit data with pageview data, or comparisons across the top-10 Wikis, I'd love to see that and our readers might get some of the best of both worlds. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:03, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by koavf (2020-09-18)

{{done}} The Signpost should write about (koavf)TCM 05:38, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

It would be better to write instead (or at least, as well) about the study on which that piece is based. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:28, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf, Pigsonthewing, and HaeB:. It looks reasonable enough to put a paragraph with both sources in "In the media". I do think I've seen this somewhere before and wonder why the Guardian story came out now. The preprint was uploaded over a year ago. I also have some questions about using Wikipedia as a laboratory (but enWiki was not used) and having a "policy implication" that you can increase your hotel room occupancy by writing 2 paragraphs in Wikipedia. The paper's title "Wikipedia Matters" doesn't help track it down at all. HaeB, have you seen it anywhere in The Signpost before? Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:13, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
See LinkSearch. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:19, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
Pigsonthewing, Yes, of course, the topic itself, not necessarily reporting on the reporting. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 21:56, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
We already covered it briefly in "In the media" and extensively in "Recent research" (based on an earlier version of this preprint/working paper, but the conclusions and the underlying experiment are the same). The latter also had some information about the reaction of the editing communities (see the comments as well). Note that the paper has still not been published in a peer-reviewed venue, although the researchers advise that it is fortcoming in an economics journal.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 23:27, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks @HaeB:. I might as well mention in this issue that it's already been mentioned (in ITM). Perhaps the real story is the mystery on why the paper's being mentioned now. BTW that 2017 ITM Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-07-15/In the media in the In brief section has 3 stories that might be included in this month's issue. Good reporting @Bri:. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:38, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Nardog (2020-09-20)

The latest episode of the Reply All podcast covers Psiĥedelisto's effort to get this DYK on the Main Page and the reason he spends his time on Wikipedia lately. Nardog (talk) 03:50, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

@Nardog: If it's desired that I write or answer questions about this experience for The Signpost I'm happy to do so. I've also made WP:ER's for my own article, 8chan, and QAnon. I wrote Bureau of Immigration Bicutan Detention Center because that's the place I would've been detained for cyberlibel and felt my research would be going to waste and not helping anyone. I wrote People of the Philippines v. Ressa et al. because I felt like I knew a lot about cyberlibel and was happy when that got its WP:ITN mention. Psiĥedelisto (talkcontribs) please always ping! 03:59, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
Man oh man! @Psiĥedelisto: I didn't realize that you're a Wikipedian. This should wait until next month, but you - and only you - should write about your own story, experience, opinions. There's an important caveat. Your Signpost contribution cannot violate any Wikipedia rule, e.g. WP:BLP, no harassment, quotes have to be documented. We absolutely have to check this and enforce it. Sorry, but no exceptions. The remainder of what you might want to write would be clearly labeled as your opinion. I'm really sorry if this seems like I'm not AGF, but I'd guess you realize why I have to be careful. email me here - nothing onWiki until the October issue. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:02, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
@Smallbones: I certainly do. I'll email you. Psiĥedelisto (talkcontribs) please always ping! 15:46, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

Vector skin to get new reader features ("Wikipedia to be redesigned")

Lyles, Taylor (September 23, 2020). "Wikipedia is getting its first desktop redesign in 10 years". The Verge. Retrieved September 24, 2020. czar 02:47, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Coolest Tool Award 2020: Call for nominations (2020-09-25)

{{done}} The second edition of the m:Coolest Tool Award is looking for nominations.

Tools play an essential role for the Wikimedia projects, and so do the many volunteer developers who experiment with new ideas and develop and maintain local and global solutions to support the Wikimedia communities. The Coolest Tool Award aims to recognize and celebrate the coolest tools in a variety of categories.

The awarded projects will be announced and showcased in a virtual ceremony in November. Deadline to submit nominations is October 14, 2020.

The organizing committee would appreciate spreading the word about the nomination process to highlight the work of our technical contributors. -- for the 2020 Coolest Tool Academy: --JHernandez (WMF) (talk) 10:10, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Mass logout

could be interesting... Eddie891 Talk Work 22:29, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

So what happened? Are we being invaded by the Martians? Probably not, but if I read this right it was a security issue. Anybody have an idea what kind it could be? Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:24, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by kosboot (2020-10-09)

The Signpost should write about datasets on Commons. Maybe everyone knew about this except me, but just a few days ago I found out that datasets are on Commons and have their own namespace, Data:. I'm not the person to talk about this, but maybe someone super familiar with Commons and its datasets can talk about them. kosboot (talk) 13:30, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

20th birthday and 1000 millionth edit

Hi, we know that Wikipedia's birthday will be on 15th Jan, and we have predicted for a while that the thousand millionth edit will come in the first quarter of 2021. But one of the less obvious effects of COVID19 has been an uptick in editing, and that has brought forward the date when we see our thousand millionth edit. Looking at WP:Time Between Edits the thousand millionth edit could be in the same week as Wikipedia's birthday. ϢereSpielChequers 13:38, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

20th birthday and billionth edit?

Thanks for this @WereSpielChequers:. Wikipedia started about January 15, 2001 and January 15, 2021 will mark our 20th birthday. The 1000 millionth edit coming about the same time makes it even more special. BTW does anybody mind saying the "billionth edit"? There's book coming out in a week or so called "Wikipedia @ 20" which celebrates the birthday with 22 fairly academic chapters on just about everything Wikipedia. We'll be celebrating the *book* with (probably) 3 articles: I'll be doing a book review (email me if you want to help), an interview with the 2 editors - Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, and Reagle's 1st chapter (from the final draft because of license restrictions). WSC - if you want to write-up 2-3 paragraphs for News and notes on the birthday + billion edits that would be great. We should also have something for the January issue where editors can add something, e.g. "How I first found out about Wikipedia (or my first edit on Wikipedia) and why I'm still editing". If that sounds like a good idea, let me know and I'll set up a page for the comments. If it doesn't sound like a good idea, think of a better one! and then let me know! Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:33, 10 October 2020 (UTC)

I tend to use thousand million to avoid the billion v billion discussion. At the moment I am trying to avoid taking on additional commitments, some real life stuff is going to upend my life for the next few months, so I may be able to contribute something in Jan, but at the moment I can't promise to. ϢereSpielChequers 21:06, 12 October 2020 (UTC)


Wikimedian of the Year (2020-10-14)

The Wikimedian of the Year will be announced tomorrow. I think it's something that the Signpost and its readers might find interesting. I'm happy to connect the recipient with someone if they'd like to reach out (not that I'm needed!). CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 17:52, 14 October 2020 (UTC)

Got it. It will run under the "News from the WMF" heading. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:38, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

IP masking

It seems like WMF is going forward with this: [12] --Rschen7754 20:22, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Sorry I'm so late on this one. I had assumed that given the overwhelming respond to the RfC on meta (98-5?) against, that there would be no way that the WMF would go thru with this. But apparently, there is no way that the WMF is going to take an absolute "no" on this - it's a legal imperative. Right now it looks like any choice is between IP masking and banning IP editing on individual projects (if that choice is even allowed). @Bri and Rschen7754: and anybody who is interested. Would somebody be willing to write a neutral article on this? How about an opinion piece. We'd need a fairly finished piece by Friday! Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:40, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
Independently of this suggestion, I reached out to one of those who commented on our March story for their take. Maybe we could round up some more input from non-Signposters? - Bri.public (talk) 16:56, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
Meanwhile ptwiki voted to ban IP editing, though that has to be approved by WMF as well: --Rschen7754 18:25, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
I see some technical things that would need consultation with somebody at the WMF, e.g. when a non-registered editor tries to edit, moving a them to a new page offering registration or sign in. But I don't see anything going on like - the WMF board needs to approve this. Could you clarify or point me in the right direction? Thanks. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:37, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
@Rschen7754: Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:57, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Discussion then continued at [13] (right above the thread on the bylaws changes) --Rschen7754 18:07, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

Russian regional government officially offers money for Wikipedia editing

Russian regional government of Republic of Tatarstan officially offers money for Wikipedia editing. Here is a Wikinews story in Russian, current offer is worth 1 million rubles (~13000 USD) for about 150 articles in Tatar, Russian and English, the process is headed by Wikimedian of the year 2018 Farhad Fatkullin, you can ask him directly in English, user:Frhdkazan. --ssr (talk) 13:25, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Bri (2020-10-22)

The Signpost should write about the problems with blocking IP addresses. Maybe the time is right with new discussion about IP masking. I have a draft at User:Bri/Misapplication of blocking that would need to be refreshed for current stats and examples. ☆ Bri (talk) 14:55, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion by Ipigott (2020-10-23)

The Signpost should write about Wikipedia @ 20--Ipigott (talk) 08:45, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

Great idea - look for 3 articles! Smallbones(smalltalk) 13:02, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

WMF Board changes

Not sure if this is on your radar, but there was also m:Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/October 2020 - Proposed Bylaws changes which would greatly affect how community board members are selected. Rschen7754 16:47, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

In the media suggestion

The New York Times has a nice article on an editor's attempt to add citations to the article sichuan pepper. (The editor is apparently User:Mozby.) But unlike most newspaper coverage of WP, this one talks about how important it is to engage with the Talk page as a way to discuss research. A very nice quote from the article: "...visit a Talk page or two to understand what research is. It’s not just looking online for stuff; it’s a process of assessment, of re-searching through what you’ve found to determine what’s superfluous, what’s missing and what requires thought. The nakedness of this process on Talk pages makes it accessible. Professional researchers can be precious about our work, but research is a skill we can and should all acquire, given the abundance of information and misinformation mixed up at our fingertips." - kosboot (talk) 15:45, 25 October 2020 (UTC)


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